Located between Nice and Cannes, the small towns of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins are some of the most charming destinations along the French Riviera. Here, you’ll find millionaires enjoying the French Riviera sun on their yachts, bohemian types painting or writing in small studios, and laidback locals who are well aware that they live in paradise.
I recently traveled to Cannes, which I enjoyed immensely. But as my time ran out in Cannes, I decided I hadn’t seen enough of the French Riviera just yet. So I hopped on the train and headed to Antibes, one of the most beautiful seaside towns I’ve ever visited. As soon as I arrived in Antibes, I knew I wanted to spend more time exploring this village and soaking in the French Riviera sunshine, so I pulled up my HotelTonight app and booked a great last-minute hotel in Antibes–Juan-les-Pins. After checking into my hotel and dropping off my bag, I headed out to see just what makes Antibes and Juan-les-Pins so irresistible.
The Old Town of Antibes is comprised of cobblestone streets, old stone walls, and a striking 16th century fort. Perched along the Cote d’Azur, Vieil Antibes is one of the prettiest French towns you can visit, and one of my favorite parts of visiting Antibes was getting lost in the narrow, winding streets of the Old Town. You cannot miss the chance to visit this idyllic historic village if you’re in this area of the French Riviera, especially if you’re staying in the busier town of Juan-les-Pins. The easygoing atmosphere of Antibes will help you get into the mindset of the French Riviera locals, who focus on savoring the small pleasures in life.
There’s something so rejuvenating about a long stroll along the coast, which is why the Chemin des Douaniers was one of my favorite parts of my French Riviera trip. This five-kilometer coastal walk takes you past small coves, private castles, crumbling old walls, freshwater creeks and stunning beaches. There’s something beautiful to see along every section of the seafront walk, so it’s easy to lose track of time as you wander along the Cote d’Azur.
Of course, you cannot visit the French Riviera without taking advantage of its beautiful beaches. Both Antibes and Juan-les-Pins offer a variety of picture-perfect beaches that boast clear, warm water and stunning scenery. Some of my favorite beaches in Antibes and Juan-les-Pins were Plage du Fort Carre, Plage du Ponteil and Grande Plage. It’s hard to go wrong with the beaches in Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, and you’ll certainly be able to find a beach that you love during your stay.
It’s not a trip to France until you wander through a food market, which is why I visited the Marche Provencal every day I was in Antibes. This large market is open every day except for Monday, and it offers everything from savory French cheeses to fresh fruits from Provence. You certainly won’t be able to wander through the market without salivating, simply because the food is so fresh, colorful and aromatic. If you want the true French experience during your stay in Antibes or Juan-les-Pins, you should purchase your food at the market and take it to the beach for a relaxed, scenic picnic.
If you’re in for a bit of a walk (“hike” may be the more appropriate term), you’ll certainly want to visit the Cap d’Antibes and get off the beaten path. There is a long, winding trail along the Cap that will take you past idyllic villas, private beaches and rugged coastline. As you explore the beautiful landscape of Cap d’Antibes, you’ll come to understand just why this area has attracted the world’s elite for so many years. And you just may understand why artists like Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso found so much inspiration in the French Riviera. There are a handful of luxury resorts in Cap d’Antibes, but I found that the best way to really experience the beauty of this area was to get off the road and explore the untouched coastline.
I didn’t expect to fall in love with Antibes and Juan-les-Pins as quickly as I did. After all, I had just spent several days in Cannes, a much more famous French Riviera destination. However, both Antibes and Juan-les-Pins have such different vibes from bigger cities like Cannes and Nice, and that’s certainly part of their charm. I was so glad I was able to make my impromptu trip to Antibes–Juan-les-Pins possible, and I have HotelTonight to thank for making it so easy to book last-minute hotels in cities around the world. Since I was able to book a great last-minute hotel in Antibes–Juan-les-Pins on HotelTonight, I was able to really get a feel for the soul of this beloved French Riviera destination.